MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The U.S. military's decision to suspend tuition assistance that thousands of active-duty service members rely on to pay for college classes was a blow most military men and women didn't see coming. This is especially troubling as the promise of tuition assistance for many in the military was an important element in their consideration to serve our country. These tuition assistance programs pay up to $250 per semester hour for active duty personnel, or as much as $4,500 per year.
Military.com reports $373 million is being cut from the 201,000 Army soldiers taking advantage of the program. An additional $47 million is being cut from the 29,000 Marine personnel using the program. The Coast Guard and Air Force announced their cuts last week, though the amount of those respective cuts was not immediately available. All told, the amount reduced from military tuition assistance program will likely land around $500 million dollars.
I went looking for areas to fill this gap and quickly landed on U.S. foreign aid. Just a thought, but I wonder if a reduction in spending abroad ever came up during the debates in Washington. Last year alone we gave Israel, Pakistan and Afghanistan (the top three countries to receive U.S. aid) $7.5 billion dollars. Why don't we "Sequester" this foreign expense and give our own country some "aid" and carve out $500 million and not break the promise made to our military. Let's pay ourselves first this time around.